ACP Action Alert: Urge Congress to Fund Federal Programs that Support Policies to Ensure Sufficient Numbers of Internal Medicine Specialists!
If Congress does not act by Oct. 1, 2020, funding for vital federal health care agencies, including programs that support the primary care physician workforce, will expire. Current projections indicate there will be a shortage of between 21,400 and 55,200 primary care physicians by 2033, depending on several variables used by the projections. There is growing concern that the increasing cost of obtaining a medical education is adversely affecting the number of medical students and residents opting to enter careers in primary care. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median medical education debt for indebted medical school graduates in 2019 was $200,000 and about 70 percent of medical student graduates reported having education debt.
To help address the shortage of primary care physicians and the needs of a growing population, especially those over 65, ACP is asking Congress to make much-needed investments in federal health care programs and initiatives designed to maintain and expand primary care, ensure an adequate physician workforce, and promote public health. ACP is urging AIMn members to engage with us in this effort by doing outreach with your members of Congress.
Specifically, ACP is urging Congress to:
- Pass the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (S. 348, H.R. 1763): This bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House and Senate and would increase the number of Medicare-supported residency position. This bill could alleviate the impending doctor shortage by adding 3000 residency positions each year for five years. View ACP’s joint letter of support for this bill.
- Pass the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act, H.R. 1554: This legislation would provide interest-free deferment of educational loans throughout the duration of training in primary care residency programs. View ACP’s joint letter of support for this bill.
- Pass legislation to adequately fund key federal workforce programs in FY2021, specifically the Title VII Health Professions Primary Care and Training Enhancement Grants, the National Health Service Corps which provides loans and scholarships to physicians, and community health centers which play an important role in helping underserved populations.
Action Requested: Please send a letter to your members of Congress and urge them to support the primary care physician workforce programs and initiatives outlined above. A sample letter is provided that you can personalize. Simply fill in your contact information below, follow the prompts, and submit your letters electronically.